An Open Heart and Mind: Student Ana Ionescu

Student Ana Ionescu is double majoring in Art History and Psychological Science, with a minor in Art and Design. She is the President of the Studio Art and Design Club.

Tell us about your background.
I am from Romania, where I lived until I was 16. At 16 I was accepted into an international program called United World Colleges, and I moved to Costa Rica to study in an international community of 200 students from 80 different countries. There, I learned about different cultures, becoming a global citizen, and the power of being part of a community that becomes your second home. 

Ana Ionescu
Ana Ionescu

What brought you to JCU?
My experience in Costa Rica made me want to recreate the international environment I was exposed to for the two years before my enrollment in college. However, I wanted to be closer to my home in Romania and be in a smaller school, since it gives you the opportunity to truly get to know your peers. So, I started looking for programs in Europe that value cultural differences, and where I could study art and psychology. In my search I found JCU and after looking at all the academics and activities, I knew I wanted to come here because it was exactly what I was looking for: an international environment close to home, that focuses both on academics and student activities. 

What made you decide to study Art History and Psychological Science?
I decided to study Art History and Psychological Science because they were two of the things I liked the most. I have always loved making art and learning about different artists, and by earning the International Baccalaureate in Fine Arts I realized how interesting Art History is and that I wanted to know more about it. I decided to also study Psychology to better understand myself and others, and to find new ways to help people around me. 

What projects/initiatives are you currently working on as the President of the JCU Studio Art and Design Club?
With the Studio Art and Design Club we are currently working on new ways to bring the faculty of the Art and Design Department closer to the students. We are organizing talks with professors in which they share some of their interests or passions. However, starting in Spring 2024 I will no longer be part of the board of the Studio Art and Design club, but I am sure that my successors will be amazing at keeping the club going and offering students a place of experimentation within an artistic community. I decided to leave because I feel that sometimes clubs need a change in their administration, so new ideas and projects can be implemented. Also, some students and I have been trying to start a new Psychology Club, so hopefully we will be able to share more about that soon.  

What would you say to a prospective student who might be considering studying at JCU?
My advice would be to come with an open heart and mind, and to participate in extracurricular activities because they completely change your experience. I would advise students to be curious and try out new things even if they are scared. Only by trying things can you learn and grow as a person. Lastly, I would tell them to set a goal each semester or year, or one for their entire JCU experience, because by having that objective in mind it’s harder to get overwhelmed or feel like you don’t really know what you are doing. Of course, this objective will change throughout your experience at JCU and in Rome, but that just means you are growing. 

What are your plans for the future?
I would like to become an art therapist because it would allow me to combine two of my biggest passions, namely art and psychology. I would like to stay in Italy, but I am not sure yet.